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Les Clergue d’Arles


What we most know of De Clergue’s work are the beautiful nudes in waves, which consolidated his reputation in the world. While he just celebrated his 80th birthday, the musée Réattu celebrates this native son. He is a lover of the Camargue region which he photographed from every angle, from the gypsies to the reeds blowing in the wind. He was the friend of Picasso, having approached him once directly when he was not even twenty years old, as the former was leaving a bullfight. And he is the relentless organizer, who together with his friends Rouquette, Tournier (and others), founded the famous Rencontres photographiques d’Arles in 1969, which will soon celebrate their 50 years of existence. The work shows a part of the important donation which De Clergue just offered the musée Réattu, that is his own icons and a few others due to the forerunners he befriended and admired, from Weston to Mapplethorpe. A sort of spiritual testament for a pioneer: we are indeed very indebted to him for the recognition photography has as an art form in its own right.

Les Clergue d’Arles, collective, Gallimard, 2014, 200 p., €35.

Les Clergue d’Arles - Collective

Review published in the newsletter #356 - from 18 September 2014 to 24 September 2014

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